Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The pressure of tourism on the Mediterranean coastline and beaches

Cirer-Costa, Joan Carles (2015): The pressure of tourism on the Mediterranean coastline and beaches.

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Mediterranean tourism is usually defined as “3S tourism” – the three S’s standing for sea, sand, and sun. The term highlights the central importance of these three physical factors in the attraction exerted by the shores of Mare Nostrum. In this paper we set out to quantify the impact of the first two of the S’s – sea and sand. In our analysis, sandy beaches emerge as the basic production factor sustaining the tourism business, followed by the coast and the view of the sea. So great is the importance of the sea and the sand as specialized production factors that they actually dictate the spatial morphology of the tourist destinations. The coastline has become an indispensable prerequisite for attracting tourists, and proximity to it determines the quality and price of the various kinds of tourist accommodation. We also show that Mediterranean tourism is essentially an urban phenomenon. Most tourists expect a wide diversity of complementary amenities close to their accommodation; this means that the resorts must be large, dense urbanized areas.

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